IMDb > White Mama (1980) (TV)

White Mama (1980) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for White Mama on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 March 1980 (USA) See more »
A proud widow. A frightened homeless kid. Nobody cared about them until they cared enough to fight for each other.
A poor, elderly white woman living in a tenement in a black ghetto is befriended by a neighborhood boy... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Primetime Emmy. See more »
User Reviews:
Love, though not exactly the traditional kind. See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Bette Davis ... Adele Malone

Ernest Harden Jr. ... B.T. Williamson

Eileen Heckart ... Three Bag Lady

Virginia Capers ... Gorilla Sydney

Anne Ramsey ... Heavy Charm

Lurene Tuttle ... Mrs. McIntyre

Tony Burton ... Black Fighter

Peg Shirley ... Judge Alice Quentin

Ernie Hudson ... Counsellor
Dan Mason ... Father Gannon

Vincent Schiavelli ... Medic
Cheryl Harvey ... Probabtion Woman

Jesse D. Goins ... Intern

John Hancock ... Tall Black Man
Lanyard A. Williams ... Young Man
Eddie Quinlan ... Old White Man
Tracy Fine ... Candy Striper
Maggie Gwinn ... Waitress
Roger Hampton ... Man in Alley
Robert Ruth ... Superintendent
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Luther Fear ... Furniture mover (uncredited)

Directed by
Jackie Cooper 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Robert C.S. Downs 

Produced by
Jean Moore Edwards .... producer
Thomas W. Moore .... executive producer
Original Music by
Peter Matz 
Cinematography by
William K. Jurgensen 
Film Editing by
Jerry Dronsky 
Casting by
Caro Jones 
Art Direction by
Ned Parsons 
Set Decoration by
Gary Moreno 
Makeup Department
Mary Keats .... hairdresser: Miss Davis
Charles H. Schram .... makeup artist: Miss Davis (as Charles Schramm)
Robert Sidell .... makeup artist (as Bob Sidell)
Production Management
Shirley J. Eaton .... post-production supervisor
Robert Grand .... executive in charge of production
Robert Grand .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Steve Barnett .... first assistant director
Wendy Shear .... second assistant director
Art Department
David Moll .... property master (as Dave Moll)
Sound Department
Jerry Rosenthal .... sound effects editor
William L. Stevenson .... supervising sound effects editor (as William Stevenson)
Bill Teague .... sound mixer
Ron Stein .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Ron Knox .... gaffer
Wayne Mort .... key grip
Anthony R. Palmieri .... assistant camera (as Anthony Palmieri)
Ronald M. Vargas Sr. .... camera operator (as Ron Vargas)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Paula Lynn Kaatz .... costumer (as Paula Kaatz)
Editorial Department
David Handman .... assistant editor
Music Department
Dan Carlin Sr. .... music editor
Transportation Department
James Antúnez .... transportation captain (as James Antunez)
Other crew
Cleo Anton .... script supervisor
Shirley J. Eaton .... production office coordinator
Brandon Pender .... production executive: development
Brandon Pender .... technical consultant: police
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

During the filming at the Skid Row area where one must walk around drunks passed out in doorways, Bette Davis had a bottle thrown to her.See more »
B.T. Williamson:My Mama never gave me no real name. B.T. stands for 'Boy Ten.'See more »


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Love, though not exactly the traditional kind., 4 January 2016
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

When the film begins, Adele (Bette Davis) is taking in a VERY unusual sort of border--a teen* who is being placed in her care for probation! This old white lady is doing this because she needs the income and her new roommate, B.T. (Ernest Harden, Jr.) is about as much unlike her as possible. He's a black street-wise teenager and their personalities are certainly different. While I would never call Adele tender towards B.T., she does later come to really care for the kid and pushes him to be a better person. She is horrified when B.T. takes up boxing...but it does help pay the bills. Later, after she's helped B.T. to get on his feet, it's now turn for him to help her when she is dispossessed from her home...but Adele has a very hard time asking for or accepting help.

The film is not perfect--especially since I think they could have worked a bit more at relationship building. But the story is unique and it's nice to see Davis in one of her nice, non-cringeworthy** roles later in her career.

*B.T. is supposed to be 16. The actor was 28 and looked at the least, about 23. This was bad casting or they should have just had the character be in his 20s.

**Late in their careers, Bette Davis and her arch-rival, Joan Crawford, would appear in ANYTHING as long as the check cleared. Both claimed they needed the money but based on some of these films I have a hard time believing they needed money THAT badly.

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